The U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security jointly announced this month that some H4 visa holders will now be eligible to receive work permits, also known as Employment Authorization Cards (EAD). This is a significant change in U.S. immigration policy as it is the first time any H4 visa holders would qualify for work permits. The impact on the families of H-1B and H4 visa holders will be significant as it creates the opportunity for all family members to obtain employment in the United States.
Specially skilled foreign workers who are working in the United States under H-1B visas can obtain a H4 visa for their spouse and children (under the age of 21) to remain in the country while the H-1B visa holder is employed in the United States. Skilled professionals in such fields as biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, law and computer science often work in the United States under H-1B visas. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issues approximately 85,000 H-1B visas each year. Under the proposed immigration policy change, which could go into effect as early as October 2014, some H4 visa holders now may also be eligible to obtain work permits. To qualify for a work permit, the H4 visa holder must have filed an approved 1-140 application or must be currently awaiting their green card.
It is the hope of policy makers that U.S. employers will be more likely to attract highly qualified and talent foreign workers under the H-1B visa program when the spouses and children of these workers would also be eligible to work in the United States. This immigration policy change could benefit almost 100,000 H4 visa holders when it initially goes into effect.
The Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers Surin & Griffin, P.C. Assist H1-B and H-4 Visa Holders with all of their Immigration Law Needs
If you or a family member is the holder of a H4 visa and would like to apply for an Employment Authorization Card under this new immigration policy, the Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. have experience with all types of employment-based visas. Our immigration attorneys handle a wide range of immigration law matters, including the family-based visa process, deportation and asylum proceedings and the labor certification process.
Philadelphia immigration law firm of Surin & Griffin, P.C. has offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to serve individuals throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania with all their immigration law needs. To schedule a confidential consultation, call the Surin & Griffin, P.C. today at (215) 925-4435 or fill out our online contact form.